Butterfly and Red Pear Blossom
Dir: Lee Tit
Scr: Tong Tik-sang
Orig Story: Zhang Shouqing’s Red Pear Blossom
Prod Co: Hawks
Cast: Yam Kim-fai, Pak Suet-sin, Lan Chi Pak, Leung Sing-po
1959 / B&W / D Beta / Cantonese / Chi & Eng Subtitle / 136min
Chiu Yu-chau (Yam Kim-fai) and Tse So-chiu (Pak Suet-sin) have never met in person, but their poetry subtly declares their love for each other though the lascivious prime minister Wong Fu (Lan Chi Pak), who intends to marry off Tse to a barbaric king, prevents Chiu from meeting her in person. The distressed courtesan must resort to feigning death to escape and while fleeing unexpectedly meets Chiu. She is advised not to reveal her identity and instead assumes that of another person who talks so nonsensically that Chiu becomes totally confused. By story’s end the lovers are reunited and to the immense satisfaction of audiences the prime minister is punished. Equally satisfying are the singing sequences and the dance scene. Tong’s screenplay is superb, not only because of the faithful and unyielding love it glorifies, but also for its penetrating portrayal of the characters. Yam Kim-fai’s minimalist acting style enables her to convey dynamic passion as well as step about the stage seemingly with ease and accomplish the image of a resolute, yet gentle, scholar.
||Cinema, Hong Kong Film Archive
|Post-screening talk with Lau Wai-ming
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